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Electrical Work and Medical Checkups for Station Crew

Published by Klaus Schmidt on Wed Jan 11, 2012 11:07 am via: NASA
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The Expedition 30 crew – Commander Dan Burbank and Flight Engineers Don Pettit, Andre Kuipers, Anton Shkaplerov, Anatoly Ivanishin and Oleg Kononenko – began the workweek Tuesday following a day off to observe the Russian Christmas holiday.

Burbank, a NASA astronaut, spent much of his day working in the Destiny lab to remove the Secondary Power Distribution Assembly jumper that was installed by the previous crew to keep the station in a safe condition if it were to be uninhabited for an extended period of time. With the station operating at full-strength again with a six-person crew, Burbank coordinated with flight controllers on the ground to remove the jumper and return the system to its normal configuration.

Burbank also gathered tools and equipment for the annual maintenance he will perform Wednesday on the station’s toilet, the Waste and Hygiene Compartment.

Kuipers participated in a public affairs event from inside the Kibo module, speaking with Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Van Rutte and students at Delft University of Technology. Kuipers, a European Space Agency astronaut, is from the Netherlands.

Afterward, Kuipers set up hardware for the VO2Max experiment that he will conduct on Wednesday. That experiment allows researchers on Earth to measure changes in the astronauts’ aerobic capacity during long-duration spaceflight and recommend changes to their daily two-hour exercise regimen.

Throughout the day Kuipers teamed up with NASA astronaut Pettit to conduct periodic health status evaluations. Each astronaut served as the subject as the other conducted the exam, measuring temperature, blood pressure, pulse, and respiratory rate, as well as photographing the ear drums. Burbank joined them later for tonometry tests to measure their eyes’ intraocular pressure.

Meanwhile cosmonauts Shkaplerov, Ivanishin and Kononenko recorded video for an educational television program called “Science 2.0” and performed routine maintenance on the life support systems in the Russian segment of the station.

The cosmonauts also collected additional trash and unneeded items for disposal on the ISS Progress 45 cargo craft, which is set to undock from the Pirs docking compartment Jan. 23 for a destructive re-entry in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Not everything aboard that departing Progress will be trash destined for quick disposal. The Progress will depart the orbital complex with its hatch open in order to deploy a small 88-pound nanosatellite called Chibis-M. The deployment will occur about 1 hour and 13 minutes after the Progress separates from the station. Chibis-M will remain in orbit for at least four years studying the interaction of plasma waves with the ionosphere.

The next Russian supply ship, ISS Progress 46, is scheduled to launch from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Jan. 25 at 6:06 p.m. EST (5:06 a.m. Baikonur time on Jan. 26). Docking of the new resupply vehicle to Pirs is slated for Jan. 27.

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